From Harford County Government:
(Bel Air, MD) – – As a result of conservative budgeting and unanticipated revenues to the county, Harford County Executive David R. Craig has announced a General Fund fund balance of approximately $32 million beyond the required reserves for FY 11.
As a result, after three years of wage freezes and employees having to absorb a portion of their health care and pension contribution increases, Harford County Executive David R. Craig has announced a one-time pay bonus for all county employees in FY 12. Those eligible to receive the bonus are county employees, Harford County Public School system employees, Harford County Public Library personnel, as well as personnel of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, the State’s Attorney’s Office, the Circuit Court and the Judiciary.
Money to pay for the one-time bonus will be used from monies in the county’s fund balance. The fund balance will also be used to help pay for one-time Capital Improvement Projects which will help the county save money by not bonding such projects over the course of several years.
Funding to support the one-time pay bonus and limited capital projects will come from a fund balance created through several years of conservative budgeting and an increase of income tax receipts the county treasury collected. The one-time $1,250 bonus for county employees will be paid in two installments; the first in December 2011 and the second in June of 2012.
Commenting on the one-time pay bonus, County Executive Craig stated, “During the past three years, County employees rose to the challenge and made personal sacrifices necessary to help keep our local government solvent and working for the community. As a result, they have not received a pay raise in more than three years, and have also had to absorb incremental increases in their share of health care premiums and pension benefits. Working with President Billy Boniface and the Harford County Council, we are pleased to be able to provide a limited one-time pay bonus to county personnel.”
The County Executive added, “Our ability to grow Harford County’s economy during these
difficult times have had a positive impact on our economic well being. Couple that with
strong, conservative budgeting and management practices, has resulted in Harford County having a fund balance which we will use to cover the limited pay bonus and some capital projects that have been pending for some time. I am very pleased with how we as a county have handled this economic crisis. We have reduced property tax rates, limited the size of government; grew and diversified our local economy, and invested in future economic growth opportunities,” Craig remarked.
The allocation of funds for the one time employee bonus requires legislative approval from the County Council. A bill to do so will be introduced at the November 1st County Council meeting.